Anti-union laws

IDS on your bike, we deserve the right to strike!

On Saturday 8 August, more than 15 activists with Right to Strike took a trip to Chingford to serve Iain Duncan Smith with a high court injunction.

Tories and bosses are so keen to take high court injunctions out against our democratically decided strikes that we thought we’d give them a taste of their own medicine.

The Tories are proposing that unions in key sectors must get 40% of their members to vote yes in a ballot (not just of those that vote) to have a legal strike.

Trade Unions: 

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Why we need the right to strike

Author: 

Charlie McDonald

The Tories have wasted no time in turning their manifesto plan to further straight jacket the unions in law.

Proposals in the Trade Union Bill include a 50% minimum turn out and a 40% threshold of those in favour of action in certain “key sectors”: health; education for under 17s; transport; fire services; border security and the decommissioning of nuclear plants and management of waste.

The Tories have wasted no time in turning their manifesto plan to further straight jacket the unions in law.

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Unite prepares ground for unlawful action

Unite the union held its rules conference in Brighton this week.

About 500 delegates debated motions from sectors, branches, equalities committees and regions. 

Two key and contested debates were about the election of union officials and the union’s political structures and affiliation to the Labour Party. 

Unite members do not elect any paid officials other then the General Secretary. There were many different motions calling for the election of different types of officers by different constituencies. These motions all fell and the status quo prevailed.

Unite has deleted from its rules the caveat “so far as it may be lawful”. General Secretary Len McClusky made clear this was about the existing trade union laws and the Tories’ planned new attack on the right to strike.

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RMT AGM pledges to fight attacks

Author: 

Janine Booth, delegate from Central Line East branch

The Annual General Meeting of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union voted to back Jeremy Corbyn’s bid for Labour leader, fight the Tories’ attacks on trade union rights, and step up its work on equalities.

As well as committing to militant industrial struggles, delegates also voted unanimously for several emergency resolutions from branches opposing the tightening of anti-union laws promised in the Queen’s Speech. These included support for a national demonstration and rank-and-file conference this year.

The Annual General Meeting of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union voted to back Jeremy Corbyn’s bid for Labour leader, fight the Tories’ attacks on trade union rights, and step up its work on equalities.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Mobilising for a right to strike

Author: 

Ira Berkovic

Both RMT and ASLEF’s tube strike ballots met the arbitrary and hypocritical thresholds the Tories plan to impose: both had turnouts of over 50%, and both had majorities of more than 40% of all those eligible to vote.

Activists in branches across unions have formed a “Right To Strike” mobilising committee to help coordinate grassroots activity.

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Right to strike!

Author: 

Gemma Short

Prior to Unison’s national delegates conference (16-19 June), Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis released a press statement about the Tories’ proposed anti-union laws. But neither his statement nor the conference itself resolved to do anything much about the biggest threat to union organisation in two decades.

The new laws would require a 50% turnout threshold in a ballot and an additional 40% yes vote requirement in “core public services” (health, education, transport and fire services). Essentially outlawing all national strikes.

We must campaign for positive demands — for a right to strike.

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Trade Unions: 

Right To Strike!

Author: 

Gemma Short

The Tory's new anti-strike laws would require a 50% turnout threshold in a ballot and an additional 40% yes vote requirement in “core public services” (health, education, transport and fire services). Essentially outlawing all national strikes.

Fight new anti-union laws. Fight for a right to strike!

Trade Unions: 

Fight Tory attacks on our unions!

Author: 

Maria Exall, CWU and Campaign for Trade Union Freedom (personal capacity)

The first Conservative government for 18 years will introduce a Bill to beef up existing anti-trade union laws in the UK.

Whilst the proposed restrictions on strike action had been well signalled in advance, the inclusion of a change to union political funds was unexpected.

The Tories are demanding a 50% turnout threshold in a ballot and an additional 40% yes vote requirement in “core public services” (health, education, transport and fire services), They hope to make it impossible for unions to organise lawful strikes.

The first Conservative government for 18 years will introduce a Bill to beef up existing anti-trade union laws in the UK.

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On the streets against the new anti-strike laws!

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Editorial

The unions and the labour movement should launch a life-or-death campaign to stop the Tories’ planned new anti-union laws, starting with a mass street demonstration.

Britain already has “the most restrictive trade union laws anywhere in the western world”, as Tony Blair complacently told the Daily Mail in 1997.

Now the Tories plan to ban public service strikes unless the ballot majority for the strike comes to at least 40% of the workers balloted.

Only 24% of the electorate voted Tory on 7 May, and they think that’s enough to decide the government!

The unions and the labour movement should launch a life-or-death campaign to stop the Tories’ planned new anti-union laws, starting with a mass street demonstration.

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Trade Unions: 

German rail strike shows the way

Author: 

Paul Cooper

A much needed reminder of the power of organised labour in a rich and advanced economy is currently being demonstrated in Germany.

Freight and passenger train drivers for Germany’s Deutsche Bahn recently completed the latest of their strikes over wages and conditions. Their confidence and determination is growing in what is already a 10 month-old dispute.

Freight and passenger train drivers for Germany’s Deutsche Bahn recently completed the latest of their strikes over wages and conditions. Their confidence and determination is growing in what is already a 10 month-old dispute.

Around the world: 

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